There are about 40
million adults in the U.S. who suffer from anxiety every year. Not
surprisingly, a lot of researchers are curious to know more about
this condition. And yet, there is still no clarity on what causes
hyperventilate, get nervous and restless, experience increased heart
rates, sweat, tremble, and find it hard to focus and concentrate.
we have are theories about why this happens. That is sad considering
how crippling anxiety episodes can be.
At the moment, the
condition has been linked to genetics, brain chemistry, medical
issues, diseases and so forth, but there is no known definitive
So, the search for
answers is still ongoing.
But now, a Japanese
study may have brought us closer to knowing the reason behind the
high rate of anxiety attacks in the world. Apparently, this condition
may be linked to mental health issues and nutritional deficiencies.
In particular, low
levels of vitamin B6 and iron can trigger chemical changes in the
brain that might bring about panic attacks and other forms of
In the study, 21
subjects were involved, and they had different levels of anxiety,
panic attacks, and hyperventilation.
Some of them had
minor attacks that could be easily managed at home, but others ended
up in emergency rooms.
tested the nutritional deficiencies the subjects had to identify
patterns. There was also a control group with 20 participants.
In the study, the
scientists were keen to see what role nutritional deficiencies might
have in anxiety attacks and episodes. They hoped to research various
forms of deficiencies to identify any patterns.
When the data was
analyzed, it was discovered that the people who were dealing with
anxiety had lower levels of vitamin B6 and iron compared to those who
did not have this condition.
But why should this
It’s simple — in
the past, there has been an argument for the fact that chemical
imbalances might have a role to play in anxiety attacks.
connection between lack of enough vitamin B6 and iron in the body
supports the notion that chemical imbalances in the brain,
particularly regarding serotonin levels, is a major reason people
suffer from anxiety attacks. Serotonin is well known as the
The presence of this
hormone causes the reward centers of the brain to get triggered.
Additionally, serotonin is made using an amino acid known as
tryptophan. But also, iron and vitamin B6 is critical to its
manufacture. That is why the lack of these nutrients in the body can
result in a reduced level of serotonin in the body. Ultimately, this
causes an increased likelihood of suffering from anxiety attacks.
As a matter of fact,
many antidepressant drugs in the world today are based on this same
concept. They are designed to improve serotonin levels in the body,
which in turn enhances mental health and reduces the likelihood or
the severity of anxiety attacks or episodes.